Huckleberries are a real thing, a completely nonfictional thing, and they are ripe now. When Smiley pointed them out I was very surprised. I mean, they are tiny, and bright red, and they don't look anything like the segmented raspberry and blackberry varieties proliferating in gardens and along roadsides. The small leaves remind me of those on rosebushes. The fruit is just smaller than a blueberry, and it has that same ruffle of a skirt on the flower end. They are juicy and not overly sweet. And the bushes have no thorns.
My daughter has unexpectedly gotten excited about berry picking. She came over and brought some that she'd collected. She got me to go across the street and pick some. After she left, she called to tell me she found a spot where she was able to pick a whole plastic water bottle full of them. -The pint sized water bottle choice is genius, berries fit through the neck easily, and if you drop the bottle they won't all spill out.
Berrying is just like a video game. In between slaying dragons and shooting at spaceships, you pause to pick up brightly colored trophies. These can be traded for ballistic missiles and fancy costumes, or just eaten to raise your health statistics. Each berry that I pick makes an imaginary PING sound as it separates from the bush and lands in the bucket.
This morning, Smiley and went out to get more, before the short season ends. At home, I used them to make a raw cobbler with an almond date crust. Yesterday,Maddy picked a water bottle full, and today, I filled up a hummus container.